Port Victoria P.V.1

The Port Victoria P.V.1 was a British prototype floatplane fighter of the First World War, built at the Royal Naval Air Service's Port Victoria Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot on the Isle of Grain by fitting a Sopwith Baby with high-lift wings. Only a single aircraft was built, with the type not being chosen for production.

Role Floatplane Fighter
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer RNAS Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot, Port Victoria
First flight 1916
Status Prototype only
Primary user Royal Naval Air Service
Number built 1
Developed from Sopwith Baby

Design and development[1]

Squadron-Commander J.W.Seddon RN, officer commanding of the Marine Experimental Aircraft Depot, realised that high-lift wings, as described by the National Physical Laboratory in 1916, had the potential to improve the lifting capacity of the Sopwith Baby seaplane. He instructed the Depot's Experimental Construction Depot to make and fit such wings to a Sopwith Baby, the resulting aircraft being named the P.V.1.

The new wings had the same area as the thinner aerofoils used on the Baby but were mounted with greater stagger; larger floats were also fitted. The thicker wings, heavier floats and additional 300 lb. (136 kg) ballast added a total of 600 lb. (272 kg) to the weight of the Baby, but the P.V.1 was still able to reach a height of 8,000 ft. (2,438 m) and achieve a speed of 67 kt (77 mph, 124 km/h).

While it successfully demonstrated the performance of the new high-lift wings, the Fairey Hamble Baby was placed in production instead.

The P.V.1 was retained by the Depot for test operation, including the investigation of the catapult launching of aircraft.

Specifications (P.V.1)

Data from Bruce J.M. in Flight, Bruce 29 November 1957[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 23 ft 0 in (7.01 m)
  • Wingspan: ()
  • Height: ()
  • Wing area: 240 ft² (22.30 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,811 lb (821 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,302 lb (1,044 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Clerget rotary engine, driving a two blade wooden propeller, 110 hp (82 kW)


See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists


  1. Bruce in Flight, 29 November 1957, p.846.
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